Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult when the majority of us spend three quarters of our day sat down, especially those at a desk where the level of physical activity is minimal. So how can we improve our personal health and get more active during the day?
According to Gov UK, one in four people are physically inactive, even though regular exercise has been shown to treat, manage and prevent up to 20 different lifestyle-related conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Professor Stuart Biddle from Loughborough University, who chaired a study into the effects of sitting down for long periods of time, on a regular basis, said 'essentially, the body is 'shutting down' while sitting and there is little muscle activity'. Here's our top tips for combating the sitting and incorporating some more exercise into your day:
Can you walk to work? Or if you get public transport can you get off a few stops earlier and walk the rest? Getting those few extra steps in before and after work can help set us up for the day and also burns up to 150 more calories a day if we walk around 30 minutes extra.
Instead of sending that email walk to your colleague's desk, do that ten times a day and not only is it a break away from your screen it's also more steps added into your day, and therefore improving your physical health.
Getting the stairs rather than taking the lift is great in theory if your office is on floors one to six/seven, however if you're on floor 10 then we applaud you if you give this a go.
Perhaps get out of the lift a few floors before your one and walk the rest, or start off small and add in another level each week/month.
If you're guilty of sitting at your desk during your lunch break then make a conscious effort to take some time away and go for a walk.
Not only is it good for your eyesight it can also help your mental wellbeing as you're removing yourself from any stress for that half an hour to an hour and taking in your surroundings with no distractions...you're connecting with what's around you.
Your employer should be offering a desk or workplace assessment in order to meet your needs, especially if you feel like your chair or screen height is causing or contributing to any discomfort.
It can help identify any improvements that need to be made to your desk setup and ultimately help to keep you comfortable at work.
If you are worried about the various symptoms that you may suffer from as a result of sitting down for long periods of time you may be interested in our ‘Therapies’ option which is an optional part of our ‘Health For You’ policy.
With our therapies option (subject to eligibility) we will look to cover you for the following:
Visit our health insurance cover options page to find out what else we can look to cover.